St. John’s Tips off Season Tonight vs. LIUNovember 13, 2009
The St. John’s men’s basketball team — the only BIG EAST squad with five returning starters — once again debuts a newly renovated Carnesecca Arena by taking on the LIU Blackbirds in its season-opener. Friday’s tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Red Storm’s new-look on-campus venue.
Picked 11th out of 16 teams in the conference pre-season by the coaches, the Red Storm may have their best team in years. If Roberts can turn that into something on the court, the Red Storm could become the trendy team in the city. The Giants and Jets appear headed for disappointing finishes, the Knicks remain a civic embarrassment and a long Rangers playoff run, aka the only thing that gets hockey publicity in the Big Apple, is six months away from possibly happening. That opens a window for the Red Storm to kick in.
It’s not that farfetched, at least according to basketball prognosticators who see them as a potential tournament team this season. The Blue Ribbon Yearbook regards them as the dark horse of the Big East, and Roberts needs a strong season to have a chance at seeing a seventh year on the sidelines. It’s not Chris Mullin and Walter Berry, but it’s a lot more than they’ve had going for them in recent years.
Long Island University, picked to finish second in the NEC, won’t be a pushover, but St. John’s needs to show that the experts weren’t wrong in their prognostications.